07 Dec 2021

Limerick's Hunt Museum brings 500-year-old painting to life through virtual reality

Limerick's Hunt Museum brings 500-year-old painting to life through virtual reality

Pictured enjoying the Ride a Flying Fish VR experience at the Hunt Museum Limerick were TJ Hickey and Caoimhe Doherty of Gaelcholaiste Luimnigh. Picture: Alan Place

AN exhibition offering a “completely immersive experience” that allows people to feel as if they are stepping inside an intricate painting has opened at Limerick’s Hunt Museum.

The city centre museum will host Ride a Flying Fish, a  virtual reality (VR) experience that explores The Garden of Earthly Delights, a 500-year-old triptych by the Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch. It runs until December 24.

The VR exhibition gives visitors access to a renowned seminal work that resides in the Prado Museum in Madrid, Spain.

Through the VR headset technology, viewers Ride a Flying Fish as they travel through each panel of the Garden of Earthly Delights. The journey begins at the Garden of Eden and proceeds through Earthly Delights before descending into hell.

Jill Cousins, Director and CEO Hunt Museum, said, “This is a new art experience for the Hunt Museum.  The idea of moving around inside an artwork and feeling it to be a living thing gives new insights and joy. The Garden of Earthly Delights is such a complex painting but with VR technology you get to dive deep into it; focusing on every little detail and almost becoming part of the painting.

“Our VR exhibition offers a new way of experiencing art. Hieronymus Bosch was a painter of his time, whose influence reverberates down the centuries. Given his pioneering imagination and innovative approach to new media, it seems very fitting that our first foray into VR explores the alternative reality presented by Bosch”, continued Ms Cousins.

The exhibition goes beyond VR to provide a completely immersive experience. A large-scale printed version of The Garden of Earthly Delights will be available to view, aspects of its symbolism drawn out and explained, and a film about Hieronymus Bosch will be on show.

This will be of particular interest to art lovers, historians, tourists, students as well as gamers and tech enthusiasts.

Tickets are €10 or €12.50 to see the exhibition and entire Hunt Museum collection. Children go free.  To book, visit


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